Porcupine Ridge

Winter is a great time for bushwalking, snakes are all asleep. My friend David who is an intrepid walker and walking guide found some mines he had never come across before. The mine is called Tubal Cain Mine and it’s near Porcupine Ridge. A fantastic reason never to leave the path! To go for a guided forest stroll, contact David on 0428 112 378  or email asic45(at)gmail.com.

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If you are interested in fishing, there are several spots in the area which are stocked by Fisheries Victoria. Hepburn Lagoon (best fishing in cold and wet weather) gets 5000 brown trout and 5000 rainbow trout each year, Wombat Dam in Daylesford gets 1000 of each every year. Newlyn Reservoir gets 4000 brown trout a year, and Jubilee Lake gets 400 advanced rainbow trout released before the second and third school holiday each year. Other smaller waters get some too, so you are in with a good chance.

There’s also redfin, tench, golden perch and blackfish, try the upper reaches of the Werribee river. Malmsbury, Lauriston and Coliban reservoirs are possibles too.

The Lerderderg River has trout, but is hard to reach due to the terrain. Best access is via McKenzies Flat, Blackwood and O’Brien’s Crossing.

You can buy a fishing licence online here:


or in person from Lake Jubilee Holiday Park.

I provide yabbie nets and a landing net (good for a heavy struggling fish, prone to snap the line), but you will have to bring your own rods if you plan to give it a go. Well, I have a small rod you can borrow, but it’s not very good. Though I have caught a trout with it!



Being stressed is no good at all. Though a visit to Daylesford might not fix the source of it, you might come away from here feeling a whole lot more relaxed. Here are five shortcuts to reduce stress:

  1. Meditation and relaxation. Do nothing, stare into space and let time pass you by.
  2. Nature is MADE to relax you. Visit forests and nature of any kind as much as you can manage. The natural sounds of birdsong, water and leaves in the wind reduces your blood pressure, pulse and halts the stresshormones, according to a studie in Sweden recently. I could have told them that! If you want company in the forest, walking on unknown tracks, my friend David offers guided walks. Even less stress with someone knowledgeable to show the way.
  3. Spend time with animals. I can’t offer much of that at the Pip, but animal time is brilliant for general wellbeing. You can watch the birds in the garden, coming in for a drink or some nectar, but I am not sure birds count. You could go horseriding at Boomerang Ranch, that would certainly count. Would be doubly good, as they ride in the forest. Nature AND animals.
  4. Sing! Especially singing in a group is good. Oxytocin levels go up, which can only be beneficial. I have lots of music at the Pip, sing like no one is listening (and no one can hear you anyway). Get the tambourine going.
  5. Laugh! Laughing gets certain signalling hormones going in your brain which in turn create calm and reduces stress. Watch a comedy, or maybe meet up with the Daylesford Laughter Club, they meet on the second Saturday of each month. Laughter yoga has been going for a few years in Daylesford now, all welcome, free event.

Daylesford is relaxing in many other ways, simply because of being country. We have no traffic lights, only a handful of roundabouts, very little traffic, and a generally relaxed lifestyle surrounded by nature in every direction. Hope to see you de-stress here soon!

Guided forest strolls

For the last couple of years I have been walking occasionally in the forest with a friend of mine, David. He really knows the area, and it is a great thing to do. Recently he has decided to do it in a professional way, and is offering guided forest walks (or strolls, if that is more your thing). The rate is a flat $50 regardless of if it is just the one of you, or more. Walking in the forest is another world. You are extremely likely to see kangaroos and wallabies, and likely to see wombats too. And if the wombat is not at home, he can most certainly show you their lair. On occasion the odd echidna or koala will be around as well. One fell off his tree right in front of David once. A koala, not an echidna. They don’t favour trees. Well, it was a very windy day. All the pictures in my bushwalking section and wildlife section on this blog are taken from walks with David. If you want to see old gold mines, he can take you there as well.


Below is his brochure, it’s a little hard to read so I have typed it out for clarity. I really recommend this as an activity whilst visiting Daylesford! David is the one with the snow covered hat, taken this winter.

Daylesford Forest Strolls

The Wombat Forest is one of the jewels in Victoria’s crown. With surrounding parks, it provides over 900 square kilometres of native vegetation, rivers, hills and animal habitats. Having explored the forest over the past 16 years, I have selected a series of walks which best display the forest and the history of the region.

A walk typically consists of a half hour drive from Daylesford in my vehicle, in to the bush, a guided walk of between 1,5-2 hours, and then the return drive. You will have the opportunity to learn about the events which have shaped the region, to enjoy our beautiful plant communities, and with luck, observe some of the wonderful native animals which abound in the forest. All walks contain some gentle slopes, and forest tracks can be a little muddy, but no special level of fitness is required, only a pair of good walking shoes. Walks are $50 total regardless of numbers, single walkers welcome. Cash payment only.

Call David on 0428 112 378 or email asic45(at)gmail.com.

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Gold! Gold! Gold!

Just a quick note to say I have bought a gold pan and a map of good local panning spots, also a little shovel. In case you feel like trying your luck, there is plenty of gold around still. You will need to get a prospecting license, it costs $17.90 and is valid for 10 years, children under 18 free as long as they are with an adult who has a licence. Get it online from here: http://www.energyandresources.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/recreational-prospecting-and-fossicking. You don’t have to share of your findings but let me know how you went! A flake, a nugget, or just some soggy gravelly gumleaves? Panning is simple.Gold is heavier than anything else in your pan, so dig up some possibly gold bearing gravel and sand in the pan, swirl it around so the gold gets a chance to go to the bottom, and wash away everything which has risen to the top. Gold will not rise. What is left in the base of the pan will hopefully be gold. Hooray. This is why the pan is black, in order for you to see the gold easily. Well, it is a great reason to go bush anyway. Bring a picnic. I just realised I have to buy a second pan, as it is more likely to be two panners and not one. Will do so on my next trip to Ballarat. I know one of my regular guests is keen to have a go, so this is for you! Good luck.

By the way, the gold you find might only be a tiny fleck, not to miss. Also there are gemstones such as zircons and sapphires. Before your trip, look around the web and read the prospecting forums, to see what people are saying. I think most will be pretty quiet about their best spots, but you can get some help from reading.